Is the formation of a new Belgian federal government gaining momentum? The chances of a so-called Vivaldi coalition received a boost yesterday when the Flemish Christian democrats of CD&V confirmed they are open for talks via their president Joachim Coens (photo below), who was speaking in the current affairs programme Terzake.
"For us, it's not about who joins the talks, but about whether we can realise our wishes. If we can do this, together with the other parties, we can go for it." This is new, because the CD&V had been reluctant to join this project in the past, sticking with the Flemish nationalists of N-VA. If they join, it would give the coalition more scope.
Other partners are willing to respect the CD&V's main condition to join
A Vivaldi coalition would bring together the Flemish and Francophone greens, socialists, liberals and Christian democrats (maybe only the CD&V, with or without their Francophone counterpart CDH), but it would leave out the biggest Flemish player, the Flemish nationalists of N-VA.
For this reason, it would lack a Flemish majority. This has been criticised repeatedly by N-VA president Bart De Wever in the past, but Joachim Coens thinks it's more important to move forward now.
Joachim Coens prefers a different name for the effort: the Avanti coalition: "It is not about Vivaldi or something else: it is about Avanti (moving forward). This is about the country that needs to move forward. The country needs a broad majority."
The new team should take over from the present minority government of Premier Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) who had said she was just taking over temporarily during the corona crisis.
Pundits think this try could be successful, 466 days or (almost) 16 months after the elections. Egbert Lachaert of the Flemish liberals of Open VLD, who is leading this coalition effort, will report to the king tomorrow. The king is then expected to appoint an official 'formateur' (or two) who will continue the talks about the real content in the coming days. CD&V has already said that a relaxation of the abortion law is a no-go for, and other more progressive players seem willing to respect this, a good sign for the upcoming talks.